HOSPITAL waiting lists have reached another record high of 6.5 million people.
Top medics have welcomed progress in reducing the longest ambulance waits and delays, but warn there is no end in sight to the crippling NHS pressure.
NHS figures show the number of surgeries due in England has risen by 2.2million since the start of the Covid crisis.
Overcrowded hospitals are partly to blame, as 93 percent of beds are full and half of those are occupied by “bed blockers” who are fit enough to go home but can’t be cared for.
Two-year waits for surgeries have halved to around 9,000 since February, but one-year delays have risen to 323,093 – the highest in 11 months.
Tim Mitchell, of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel for people who have waited an inordinate amount of time for scheduled hospital treatment.
“However, there are still major challenges ahead.”
NHS unions are calling for more staff across the healthcare system.
NHS Providers’ Miriam Deakin added: “With significant delays in the discharge of patients who are medically able to go home, there is pressure across the health and care system.”
Ms Deakin welcomed the reduction in the longest wait times and the number of people waiting for scans.
Ambulance response times and emergency room wait times have also improved amid near-record demand, but remain well outside official targets.
About 2.2 million people went to the emergency room in May, the highest number since 2019.
dr Katherine Henderson, Head of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “A slight improvement in performance data is positive but should not be cause for celebration.
“The data remains bleak and there is no real sign of an easing of this crisis.”
Patricia Marquis, Principal at the Royal College of Nursing, added: “Life is at risk as ambulances queue for hours and beds remain full.”
Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England, said: “Our hardworking staff are making significant progress but there is no doubt that the NHS is still under pressure.”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5575193/nhs-waiting-lists-crisis-another-record-high/ NHS waiting lists hit new record high of 6.5million – Top Doc warns ‘There are no signs of the crisis easing’